Discriminated benefits of a Mediterranean dietary pattern within a hypocaloric diet program on plasma RBP4 concentrations and other inflammatory markers in obese subjects

Endocrine. 2009 Dec;36(3):445-51. doi: 10.1007/s12020-009-9248-1.


Personalized nutritional strategies to treat obesity may specifically influence inflammatory markers, in addition to reduce body weight. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of a hypocaloric diet based on a Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) on nutritional status as well as on plasma concentrations of retinol binding protein-4 (RBP4) and other proinflammatory markers. Fourty-one subjects (24F/17M; age: 37 ± 7 years; BMI: 32.2 ± 3.9 kg/m²) were assigned to follow a MDP within a caloric-restricted diet over an 8-week period. Anthropometrical, clinical, and biochemical variables were measured at baseline and endpoint after the nutritional program. Dietary intervention resulted in a mean weight loss of -4.4 ± 2.5 kg (P < 0.001) and marked reductions (P < 0.05) in plasma concentrations of RBP4, leptin, C-reactive protein, complement C3, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα). Individuals with a higher adherence to the MDP during the nutritional intervention presented differentially higher reductions (P < 0.05) in plasma RBP4, IL6, and TNFα. In addition, the increase in the Mediterranean diet score from baseline was a significant and independent predictor factor for the decrease in plasma RBP4 concentration (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our findings suggest that following a hypocaloric diet accompanying a high adherence to a MDP resulted in specific reductions on proinflammatory markers, in addition to a significant improvement in some metabolic syndrome features induced by weight loss, which could be a good combined strategy to treat obesity as well as related metabolic and inflammatory disorders.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diet therapy
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma / analysis*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • RBP4 protein, human
  • Retinol-Binding Proteins, Plasma